At long last, the PR nightmare for Epic Games is over. Kind of. You will recall that the company went on a lawsuit blitz over those that develop and/or promote cheats for Epic’s hit game Fortnite. While one can understand that the company was salty over cheat enablers for its online shooter, given that disruption by cheaters makes the game less fun and therefore less popular, the fact is that Epic also fought this battle on claims that such cheats violate copyright and the license provided by the game’s Terms of Service. These are claims that need to be tested, and hopefully defeated, in court, because they are a twisting of copyright law into the worst kind of pretzel.
One of the cheaters Epic sued, at the time without knowing so, was a 14 year old minor. That young man also appears to have been both rude and brazen throughout the lawsuit process, which at various points involved his mother trying to get the court to dismiss the case and Epic arguing that indeed a minor can enter into a ToS contract with the company. The fact that Epic pushed this so hard and for so long was fairly bizarre, given just what a PR nightmare suing a minor over this sort of thing should have been.
Well, that nightmare is now over, as there is reportedly a settlement between the two parties.
With both sides choosing not to back off, the lawsuit seemed destined for a drawn-out fight. But it didn’t get to that. Behind the scenes, the parties came together to settle their differences without court intervention. This has now resulted in a settlement that’s formalized through an order of approval by the court.
With help from pro bono attorneys and his mother Kari as a General Guardian, C.B. reached a confidential settlement with Epic Games. It’s unclear whether there is a damages amount involved, but both sides have dropped their (counter)claims, effectively ending the dispute.
All claims of what might be in the settlement are pure speculation. That said, it’s tough to imagine the young man’s family accepting any crippling damages, if any money was exchanged at all. Far more likely is that the settlement includes a promise by the minor to no longer engage in any of the behavior Epic found troublesome and perhaps some legal fees.
Frankly, anything beyond that would be more PR trouble for Epic.
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